Normaalikoulu secondary school is a training school of the University of Eastern Finland. This autumn 9th graders environment class took part in ENO’s Sustainable Development via Co-creation project, which uses the principes of design-oriented pedagogy (DOP). They wanted to test the method as a new way of working for them but also they wanted to find twinning classes from abroad to work together with agenda 2030 sustainable development goals (SDG). The class found partner classes from Taiwan and Slovenia. Read more about this project following this blog. 

12 Oct 2022 The start 

The environment course in Normaalikoulu (Norssi) is studied in periods. This autumn period lasted two months from the beginning of October until the end of November. Environmental educator from Environment Online ENO met the class Wed 12 Oct 2022. During the meeting the DOP method and some exercises for raising awareness towards sustainable development goals were  introduced to the students and teacher. We watched for example the first episode of World largest lesson and then get to know better the goals by using photoexhibition. After this students had to choose some of the goals and photos from the exhibition and think about their relationship by asking more questions and thinking about emotions that the pictures arise from. The students were also asked to think how those topics and goals chosen are part of their everyday life and what kind of connections they can find through the topics. Mind mapping was used to wake up the students thinking.

13-28 Oct Developing ideas

During this period the student worked in small groups developing their ideas and worked with the teacher. 28 Oct a online meeting with Taiwanese Mingdao Highschool students was organised. Finnish students presented their works so far and entered into conversation with international students around the topics.

1-23 Nov 2022 Searching experts and creating online questionnaires

During this period student groups worked independently. An important part was also to have some answers and comparison results from abroad. Students created online questionnaires that were sent to twinning classes in Taiwan and Slovenia. The questionnaire was also spread through the Environment Online ENO network so they got answers from many different countries also.

Environmental educator from ENO visited the class to check the advancement and gave advice and ideas for experts to contact. We also discussed the new way of working and the feedback was mostly positive. Although it was sometimes challenging, the students liked the freedom to search for the answers and deal with the topic instead of just reading the school books.

The student groups had agreed to some local visits. They had visited the Finnish Red Cross and Women’s Bank organisations and Kuurna Power Plant. The students benefited of interviewing some experts like province leader Mr. Markus Hirvonen and energy experts of PKS North Carelian energy company.

Images from the visit to the Womens bank:

24 Oct 2022 Presenting the works to Slovenians

Osnovna šola Trbovlje school from Slovenia was the other partner school from abroad. So far slovenians had been following the process and answered the questionnaires. It was time to meet, present the works and have a discussion.

25 Nov 2022 Posters are ready for school walls!

One principle idea of the DOP method is that the works or projects done take into account the whole school when distributing the results or activities. In addition to the digital works the students also made poster exhibitions to the school walls.

30 Nov 2022 Visit to the Kuurna power plant

The small group that dealt with energy issues in their work organized a visit to the Kuurna power plant situated nearby to the city of Joensuu to get the final answers to their questions. (Read also Utra schools students visiting the Laurinvirta restored rapid next to Kuurna power plant from here). Here are some pictures from outside (inside it was not possible to take photos).


Population growth

Clean energy

Women`s status and equality in the world

Clean & renewable energy sources

Equality (in finnish)

This school project is done in the Sustainable Development via Co-creation project, which is funded by the Central Finland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.